Interview with author Pippa Jay
Today it is my honor to interview Pippa Jay, author of the Science Fiction Romance, Tethered, and the YA novel, Restless In Peaceville.
Welcome to EverydayFangirl Pippa, and thank you so much for agreeing to answer my questions today!
1) What does the title of each of these novels signify?
For Tethered, it refers to a device in the story that can be used to trap and hold my heroine, rendering her special abilities null and void. But it also refers to how she felt at being assigned a role outside her previous experience, and that she resented. And how she felt about the man she was assigned to work with.
For Restless In Peaceville – the working title for it was RIP, as my character made a comment early on about how ironic it was that he didn’t get to rest in peace after dying. So when it came to giving the story a proper name, I decided I wanted to try and do a play on RIP. Rest became Restless easily enough, but I only came up with Peaceville after researching Louisiana towns for the story. I noticed several towns ended in ‘ville’, so that allowed me to invent Peaceville (which is based on the real town of Arnaudville).
2) Does the names of the characters in each of your novels have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…
The major domo in Tethered is actually named for a horse I knew. He’d been trained for dressage, but retired because he had an over-reach (he would clip the back of his front hooves with his rear ones. But he had a very precise way of moving, and that was how I saw Pevanne in the story. Very precise, very careful and measured in how he moved. Funny how things like that stick in your memory and emerge later in something totally random. As for Tyree… Her name was originally Loree, but after a comment in the SFR Brigade pitch contest about Loree Su being rather humorous, I changed it. She’s too serious a character to be laughed at. Luke from Restless – my eldest was seeing a boy called Luke at the time of writing so the name was being constantly mentioned. >.<
3) What prompted you to write in each of these genres and who or what inspired you to?
Both my parents were SciFi fans, and I grew up reading and watching fantasy and SF. I read a lot of hard SF, but it was really the Anne McCaffrey novels that hooked me. And TV series such as Doctor Who and Farscape, films such as Star Wars. A real melting pot of SF and fantasy influences.
Restless was a total departure for me though. I don’t like horror, don’t like zombies, don’t like contemporary settings. I’d just written a paranormal short set in a generic US town, but using Louisiana as the background for Restless demanded a whole load more research. But I’d become obsessed with a film called Warm Bodies, and I was curious about the brain eating thing as I’ve read books with zombies that don’t do that. I got caught up in the whole zombie mythology as opposed to the Hollywood monster most people are probably more familiar with, then sucked into the Louisiana voodoo, and that was it.
4) What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and does your characters reflect some of these attributes?
Stubbornness, and Tyree reflects that aspect very well. Also maintaining focus, which is perhaps more D’joren’s character. It’s very important when things get you down to either shut out all the things that are negative, concentrate on the positives, and remember why you started this insanity in the first place. Also it’s important to take a break. Really. Even if someone has to drag you off kicking and screaming. Sometimes getting away from it all is essential. And write from the heart. There will always be people who don’t like what you write, how you write, that you named a character Bob…okay, maybe not that last. So you might as well at least please yourself and write something *you* love. That’s probably not so true with Restless. That was more a ‘get it out of my head’ thing so I could move on and not go crazy, though I do love the story. Doing something so out of my comfort zone was scary (like Luke discovering he was a zombie) but it was a challenge that I enjoyed. Well, AFTER it was done.
5) What kind of research did you have to do for these novels that was different from other types of writing that you have done before?
I did a lot on genetics and cloning for Tethered, especially if it was possible to create male AND female clones from the same genetic origin. I was surprised to find out it *is* entirely possible. I also opened a debate on whether clones would be a sibling or a child to the person they came from. After all, two genetically identical children are twins. But the young clones would be raised as offspring by the person they were cloned from, so they would form a child/parent relationship. Interesting debate. I also bought a book on writing fight scenes because frankly I suck at them. The book was excellent, and actually I had some of the basics right. Restless took way more research than anything I’d done before. It was the first time I’d used Google maps to explore a place, the first time I’d intensively grilled people for information, and I spent a lot of time watching videos of tours round the area so I could pick up the look of the landscape, sounds, wildlife. Also videos about how teenagers in Louisiana talk, reading up on religion (Catholic and voodoo), cars, houses, typical food menus, local roads – I probably read ten times the amount of words in research than I wrote in the book itself.
6) What makes you laugh?
7) What makes you cry?
Also my kids. And people who are cruel and nasty just because they can be. Let’s just be nice to each other?
Again, Pippa, thank you so much for being with us today.
More on Pippa Jay
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, like I am, she blogs at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), two self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply and The Bones of the Sea), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).
You can also sign up to her no-spam newsletter HERE to get spam free, early sneak peeks at covers, and news of the latest releases, giveaways and contest.
More on Pippa’s upcoming releases…
Restless In Peaceville, A YA supernatural novella, coming from Lycaon Press on 20th August! You can add Restless In Peaceville to your Goodreads shelf HERE. An excerpt of this novella is also available here!